15 Tips to Improve Your Customer Services


Sometimes regarded as an area where problems are swept under the rug, customer service should, however, be a key strategy point—it’s how you showcase your business. That’s because good customer service is a gateway to standing out and fostering continuous improvement while encouraging customers to give you business and recommendations. Here are 15 tips from Critizr to stay on top of your customer care game.

1. Hire good customer advisers

While customer service may do the showcasing, advisers are the ones who represent you the most. They must understand the business, present it well and, above all, actively listen to customers. Regarding presentation, advisers must never come across as arrogant, forward or vulgar, and should avoid technical jargon. Most of all, they should be patient and understanding

2. Look after your advisers 

Working in a customer service department isn’t always easy. It’s the manager’s responsibility to recognise and value employees. How you handle staff will surely affect the quality of customer interactions. A valued employee will be more determined to make customers happy.

Implementing SMART objectives, bonuses, transparent results and sharing positive customer feedback are good ways of keeping staff motivated and on their toes. 

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respond & process customer feedback

3. Introduce more communication channels for customers 

Don’t just give clients the option of calling you. Most customers only want basic information that they’d rather just find by themselves. Many customers give up on a purchase when they have to call for information.

There are many channels out there such as email, text, live chat, extranet, Facebook, etc. to provide easy communication between you and your customers. Train your advisers on how to use these communication tools which will help them communicate with customers and avoid reliance on phone calls. 

4. Implement a CRM solution

A CRM tool which includes a communication history of calls, emails, letters, etc. is essential to any successful customer service department. This way, customers don’t have to re-explain themselves every time and won’t feel like they’re just another number in line. Your CRM should be linked to your ERP, i.e. your inbox, to centralise all discussions and information.  

5. The customer comes first! 

Firstly, don’t make customers wait for hours in line! Tell them you will call back later and to help them feel less impatient. Be wary of making promises that you cannot keep though. If you tell a customer you will call them back later that day and you don’t, they’ll be even more displeased.

Also, be sure to listen attentively to the customer! Let them speak, they need to explain the issue they're having. Customers always feel like they’re the only one experiencing that problem, they want your attention more than anything so keep that in mind. 

6. Work on building your case over the phone

To build your case, you should list the most common customer complaints or remarks. Come up with a way of handling each of these comments. Be careful though to let the customer make their argument first before interjecting. The conversation should flow naturally.

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respond & process customer feedback efficiently

7. Give advisors some leeway to make decisions 

It is important that advisers feel they can make their own decisions. Similarly, it is a bad idea to come up with a detailed script for a certain type of call. The adviser may feel awkward and the conversation won’t come across as natural. It’s better to work on a general train of thought and to give the adviser some leeway in making the overall decision. This way, they’ll be better equipped to deal with the customer and will find the work more gratifying.

8. Provide training on how to deal with unhappy customers 

It’s never easy to know what to do with an angry customer on the line. The best way to deal with it is to let them rant a little first. The adviser can then start having a calmer discussion with the customer. Active listening will help calm the customer down and build trust.

The aim is not to enter into an argument with them but to identify the problem. If it is your fault, apologise and do what is necessary to remedy the issue. If the customer is to blame, you should use facts to calmly explain how they perhaps made a mistake. It’s all in the gentle, empathetic touch.

9. Introduce Smart FAQs 

Lots of customers out there want information about everything, all the time. 72% of consumers prefer to resolve problems by themselves and to not have to deal with customer services. Calling customer services can be off-putting in terms of waiting times, hotline opening hours, etc., and can send away many customers and prospects.

Most calls are about low added-value requests such as opening hours, return policy, etc. Introducing an online Smart FAQ system can reduce calls by 40%. Available online 24/7, this enables customers to find the information they’re looking for and makes it possible for advisers to concentrate on more engaging areas such as taking orders and winning back unhappy customers.

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FAQ : a solution to help the customer service

10. Provide more customer-centric solutions

There are other solutions out there, too, such as community chatrooms. Customers can get involved online and handle simple questions. There is generally a rewards system for customers who offer to help, as is the case with BlaBlaCar for example. Although they cannot be fully monitored, customer-to-customer discussions often create a deeper level of trust.

Chatbots are another very popular solution at the moment. The simplest requests can be filtered using AI technology via this solution. Nevertheless, at Critizr, we believe that nothing, not even AI, beats human interaction. It should always be available as a back-up.

11. Value customers who speak up 

Don’t forget that 96% of unhappy customers don't even tell the company. An unhappy customer who gets in touch gives you the chance to win them back. Always remember to say, “Thank you for drawing this issue to my attention”. A customer who has been listened to and offered a solution will probably come back.

12. Identify your “ambassador” customers 

Thanks to NPS and discussions over the phone, you can identify “fans” of the business. They can become part of targeted marketing campaigns to reveal their ambassador potential. You can also suggest that they provide a testimonial by leaving a feedback comment for example

13. Introduce satisfaction surveys

To evaluate the quality of the service on offer and to act accordingly, it’s essential to introduce satisfaction surveys. The most efficient way is to send it instantly so that the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind. Send the survey via text, email or widget just after their encounter with customer service and ask for their feedback. 

As part of the survey, it may be worth measuring transactional NPS.  This indicator is based around a simple concept: “After your customer service experience, would you recommend [the brand] to your friends and family?” Respondents can indicate their intention to recommend on a scale from 0 (no chance) to 10 (very likely). Transactional NPS will give you the satisfaction rate provided by customer services and help you identify areas for improvement. To learn more about NPS, read our ebook now!

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Use NPS to identify satisfied and unsatisfied customers

14. Manage your staff based on surveys

Customer feedback can be used as a management tool. You can use positive comments to motivate staff and make them feel valued. On the other hand, negative feedback can be used to improve the quality of the service. Being overly vigilant though can be counterproductive. The aim is to make the entire company customer-centric, as in helping all staff to make customers happy above all.

15. Win back unhappy customers 

It is much more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to make a current one loyal. Don’t forget that! An unhappy customer who tells their story over the phone or gives a poor NPS score should become part of a win-back effort. Sometimes, just taking the time to make a simple gesture is enough to win back the customer’s trust. Make your customer service department a source of ROI!

15 tips on managing and improving your customer service. It’s the window to your business, so make the most out of it! An efficient customer service department, like that of Zappos, boosts satisfaction and recommendations—never forget it!

Call To Action Ebook Handling Customer Feedback